This morning, I spent a frustrating half an hour on the telephone, trying to find out how a young man is supposed to go about getting an apprenticeship in this lovely little country town. Dynamo is in Year 9 at school and has an idea of what he wants to do after Year 10, but he’s worried that he might need better marks. So, sensibly, he’s trying to find out now what extra effort he may need to put in.
First I phoned the local TAFE College. They’re the ones that run the apprenticeship training courses. No, they said, we don’t do career advice. You need to phone this other place. So I phoned this other place. No, they said, we don’t give career advice to school kids. We give it to those who have left school and the unemployed.
‘Wouldn’t it be more effective to advise kids while they’re still at school,’ I asked, ‘so that they can work towards the subjects they need?’
There was a moment’s silence at the other end before, ‘Well, yes, I suppose so. I hadn’t thought of that. But if you want advice, you should phone TAFE.’
So this afternoon, I asked a teacher at school. He’s not a trained careers guidance officer; he's just a man who knows a lot more than these people who are supposed to know. It’s annoying that something as simple as getting career advice from the people who should know is so difficult. In a ‘Reader’s Digest’ (ie short and fast) explanation, the teacher was able to tell me what course Dynamo would need to do in Years 11 and 12 and what level he would best need to achieve. He now has the framework for a plan.
The moral of the story? The obvious person to ask is not necessarily the right person to ask!